The HTC Snap is Obsolete Upon Release

Sprint is the first manufacturer to offer the HTC Snap, the latest smartphone of many released over the summer. Released right after the Palm Pre, the sexy HTC Snap is set to make a splash in the cellular world thanks to an innovative design that optimizes its headset for text messaging and e-mail.
The Sprint HTC Snap is perfect for users addicted to text messaging. The useful Inner Circle feature will prioritize your e-mail. As nice as the texting and e-mail services are, one thing buyers want to know about is the call quality. To put your mind at ease, the call quality is great.

However, there is a troubling lack of Wi-Fi and the CTIA features have been tweaked from the unlocked GSM version. The changes aren’t for the better. This is a good device for buyers looking for a solid text messaging phone, but it is hard to recommend with the hefty $149.99 price tag and two year service plan when Verizon’s HTC Ozone phone will sell for $49.99 with Wi-Fi.

Sprint’s HTC Snap cell phone is still compact with a height of 4.5 inches, width of 2.5 inches and a thickness of half an inch. This smartphone still feels like it’s made from cheap plastic. It’s actually a pretty solid phone, but the GSM version from CTIA 2009 had a great soft touch feel and a metal plate framing the navigation array. This change results in a definite loss not only of luxury but a perceived loss in quality which, true or not, will affect its sales over time. Sprint had better realize this before the HTC Snap sits on shelves for too long.

A 2.4 inch QVGA display gives the HTC Snap an extensive selection of colors. 65,000 in total, with a nice 320×240 resolution. It looks good, but it’s not going to approach something like the RIM BlackBerry Tour. The size of the screen could also be larger. The user has to do some pretty serious scrolling when confronted by long e-mails or Web pages. Unlike the Palm Treo Pro, there’s no touch screen on the HTC Snap which makes navigating something of a pain. The HTC Snap does utilize a customizable sliding panel user interface popularized on many Windows Mobile devices which works nicely.

A typical set of navigation controls resides below the display. Here you can find the Talk and End/Power buttons, two soft keys, a back button, a Home shortcut, and a directional keypad with a select button snug in the center. The controls have a roomy layout but the original HTC Snap had firm keys and a trackball navigator. There are no such luxuries here.

Sprint’s HTC Snap smartphone had a lot of promise at CTIA 2009 but for the price and service plan you can find a cell phone with Wi-Fi, better navigational controls, and a higher quality exterior. The HTC Snap still works well as a text message and voice call only cell phone, but if you’re expecting the multitasking abilities of more modern models, you’ll have to look elsewhere because Sprint’s latest phone does not deliver.

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